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September 2005

Business and the Millennium Development Goals

Last week the WBCSD released Business for Development: Business Solutions in Support of the Millennium Development Goals. A very manageable summary of the main issues and debates. Among their main conclusions:

Irrepressible entrepreneurship

The BBC reports (via Shashwati's Blog) that Indians with an embarrassingly small guest list can hire extra guests. The service sounds top-notch:

The Best Guests Agency has around 70 people on its books. They can turn up either traditionally dressed or in smart Western clothes, and are briefed on family history and pretend to be friends from the past...

2006 World Development Report: Equity and Development

The 2006 WDR: Equity and Development was released yesterday. As with all of WDRs it is jam-packed with information, anecdotes and analysis. We will be sure to pass along snippets as we work our way through it.

African economies can overtake Switzerland

When battling with jet-lag most people take sleeping pills, watch TV, or toss and turn in bed. Economists, however, put their sleepless nights to better use. The IFC’s Chief Economist, Michael Klein, tinkered with the Doing Business database in the middle of a sleepless night in Johannesburg and created a hypothetical African country which adopted the best African practice on each of the Doing Business indicators.

Grade inflation

Grade inflation is also the product of competition. Competition improves performance and mostly this is good: it leads to lower prices and shorter queues at the checkout. But the process has perverse results when the product is performance measurement, and the buyer is the person whose performance is being measured.

That's John Kay in the Financial Times, on why competition is not always good.

New SME newsletter

The new IFC e-newsletter “Outcomes” showcases IFC advisory work, and that of our partners, in promoting small business development in emerging markets. The focus will be on results sharing - both successes and failures. Subscribe now.

The debut September edition highlights new local banking markets in Bangladesh.